From BIM to CIM
Engineering buff? In that case, you already know about BIM (Building Information Modelling) and its 3- to 7D models, but now it’s time to learn about CIM (City Information Modelling).
What is it?
CIM is an object-enriched, 3D Geographic Information System (GIS), which, on the scale of a neighbourhood, business park, city, conurbation, etc., provides when queried a wide range of information on these objects and others linked to them. In brief, CIM is a gigantic georeferenced database of objects and object-to-object links.
Varied and updated objects
A wide range of objects are integrated into a CIM. These include buildings and facilities (WWTP, etc.) but also systems such as lighting, transport, traffic, etc. Data on these objects is entered into the BIM from design/construction, then updated with information on their operation, modification, and/or maintenance. It’s a powerful tool for operators, technical department managers, urban development departments, elected officials and plenty of other stakeholders to (and these are only a few examples): manage facilities, get a better grasp of how local systems work, and better tailor their urban development projects… provided that the data provided is relevant and precise!
DATA really is the crux of a CIM. And as we are only just setting out on the CIM trail, there aren’t any interoperatability standards yet. Currently, each CIM system has its own characteristics, and creating the right gateways to integrate exogeneous data from multiple external sources (concessionaries, service providers, etc.) requires lengthy, meticulous case-by-case work. Which is precisely what SADE did for its first clients in this field (Greater Bordeaux, VEDIF, etc.): thank you, Kevin!
An invaluable asset
In the future, using CIM, designing a project based on a multitude of details on the type of terrain, the exact position of other concessionaries, pedestrian and vehicle traffic data, etc. will provide a clear competitive advantage. So CIM DATA will be invaluable. Will local authorities grant access to it? Free of charge or in return for payment? There are still plenty of unknowns but one thing is for sure: you need to be in the driving seat of the CIM train, and SADE certainly is.
Let’s dream a little: what is there to prevent SADE from creating its own CIM, allowing it to record data on its facilities and operations on a regional scale?